Pastor's Letters

The Testimony of the Early Christians About the Eucharist

Instead of my usual letter, in honor of Corpus Chris I wanted to share with all of you some of the most

significant passages from the early centuries of the Church demonstrating that our Catholic belief that

the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ is not some medieval fabrication, but the authentic

belief in the Church going back to the very beginning. Notice the dates for the quotes found below.

This is the faith of the Church, as it was, is, and forever will be.

St. Ignatius of Antioch, A.D. 110 (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6:27:1)

"Take note of those who hold heterodox [false] opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see

how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God… They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they

do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which

that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift( of God are perishing in their disputes…"

St. Justin Martyr, A.D. 151 (First Apology, 66)

"We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to

be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has

received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood

for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the

blood of that incarnated Jesus."

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 350 (Catechecal Lectures, 19:7; 22:6,9)

"The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and

wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ."

"Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the